On Emmy-winning Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Jane Levy plays a computer programmer with special powers. We caught up with the actress to discuss how she’s mastered insomnia and RV maintenance in real life.
But first, the basics:
Jane Levy on Her Own Extraordinary Playlist:
- “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” Elton John
- “Harvest Moon,” Neil Young
- “It’s Gonna Be Lonely,” Prince
- “No Tears Left to Cry,” Ariana Grande
- “Storms,” Fleetwood Mac
Men’s Journal: On Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, you can hear people’s thoughts through big musical numbers. If you could have that superpower in a romantic relationship, would you?
Jane Levy: No, absolutely not! In a romantic relationship I think it’s especially important to have your own experiences, your own life separate than your partner. I think that’s the healthiest way to be. Hearing other people’s thoughts, seeing them emotionally naked at any moment, might not be that great.
It’s like, go to couples therapy. You have an hour a week where you can decide to be open with each other and be prepared for that kind of vulnerability, but getting hit involuntarily by other people’s desires would make life quite lonely, I think.
What superpower would you want?
To sleep at the snap of my fingers. I’m really hyper, which is why this show is so suited to me, because there are very long days.
No wonder you nail Zoey’s dance scenes. Being on your high school’s hip-hop dance team must’ve helped.
I love dancing but I’m not technically that good at it, though I’m getting better because of the show. Actually, yesterday we shot for 15 hours and I was the only actor on set and it was a dance number the entire time. So I’m in bed still. My body has left the building.
You and your boyfriend Thomas McDonell did the cross-country RV thing last summer. Thumbs-up?
It was so fun to get out of the house. Like many others, we’d been confined to our home for many months and were about to move to Canada, where I shoot this show. Tom’s family and my dad live on the East Coast, and we hadn’t seen them because of the pandemic. We thought, let’s drive as safely as we can, get tested, and quarantine in New York so we can say hi before we leave and won’t see them for a long time. So we drove for a month and became RV people. We stayed at trailer parks, learned how to pump black water, spent many days not showering, and became very good cooks. We’d sleep under the stars. It was the first time I’d been to many states and there’s such beauty. The Spiral Jetty in Utah, the natural hot springs in the Rio Grande, the landscapes in Wyoming and South Dakota, they’re all incredible.
I CAN’T IMAGINE EVER WANTING TO BE WITH SOMEONE WHO’S NOT FUNNY.
You once had a pretty big crush on Jimmy Fallon. What is it about funny men?
My friends and I got really into sketch comedy as 12-year-olds and thought Jimmy Fallon was so funny but also obviously so handsome, so it was a 12-year-old crush. But yeah, funny men…I can’t imagine ever wanting to be with someone who’s not funny. If he takes something seriously all the time, your nervous system’s gonna be…I don’t know. Laughing is relaxing, laughing is connection. It makes you feel like you’re experiencing something with the person next to you. We always forget that’s what we really want as human beings.
Given your scream queen résumé: favorite scary movie?
Silence of the Lambs. It was filmed beautifully. Meanwhile, that’s what I’m going to do after this interview, lay in bed and watch horror films.
Maybe Hannibal Lecter will help you fall asleep.
Oh, my God! Maybe that’s it. Maybe that’s what I’ve been missing.
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